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Ask the Experts: Allergy Relief with Dr. Jacqueline Shan

It is estimated that one in five Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies. When people think about seasonal allergies, they may think that such allergies occur mainly in the spring. However, as many allergy sufferers can attest, seasonal allergies can also occur year-round, both indoors and outdoors.

Why are allergies common in the spring?

The change of the seasons is the time of year when millions of us experience allergy symptoms and dread going outside. Fluctuations in the weather bring about changes in temperatures, creating the perfect environment for allergens, so seasonal allergies also occur in the summer and fall. Seasonal allergies are almost always caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, mould, and dust mites. Pet dander can also cause allergic reactions.

How can I prevent allergies?

Seasonal allergies cannot be cured, but avoiding contact with allergens can help reduce symptoms. Here’s a list of proactive measures you can take to reduce the risk of allergen exposure:

  • Limit time spent outdoors.

  • Keep windows shut, especially during peak pollen times.

  • Wash pollen from hair and clothes after returning from outside.

  • Regularly give your house a thorough cleaning.

  • Use a vapour steamer to reduce mold spores and dust mites.

  • Reduce allergy symptoms by starting over-the-counter treatments before allergy season starts.

  • Use a proper allergen-reducing furnace filter in colder months.

  • Keep humidity levels below 50% or use a dehumidifier.

  • Identify your allergies so you can avoid allergens and cross-reactive foods.

Despite our best efforts, we cannot avoid allergens completely. Over-the-counter medications like nasal sprays, corticosteroids, or antihistamines can help treat symptoms but may have unwanted side effects. Some natural remedies exist, but may not be clinically tested and proven and may have side effects and interact with prescription medications. Make sure you’re well informed before you head to the drugstore in search of over-the-counter allergy relief.

About the author

Jacqueline Shan, Ph.D.,D.Sc is a pharmacologist and pioneer in naturally-derived medicine. Dr. Shan has recently launched Allergy-Rf™, the only clinically proven natural health product for multi-symptom allergy relief.

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